Saturday, February 27, 2016

A Woman's Home is Her Lair

Val might just have to dust off THE SCREAM. No, not the Munch painting. What do you think this is, the Museum of Modern Art, circa 2013, and Val the charwoman? No, Val might have to dust off her getting-rid-of-nuisance-phone-callers technique. The technique abhorred by The Pony, mentioned here.

One night last week, the house phone rang at 9:08 p.m.

Sure, the caller ID on my dark basement lair desk phone said RESEARCH CENTER CALL. Normally, I would not bother to answer. No need to let them know this is an active number with a reachable resident. They never leave a message. So I let it ring until the machine picks up. But not at 9:08 p.m. Some of us get up at 4:50 a.m. Sure, I'm still awake at 9:08 p.m. But Hick, who gets up at 5:30 a.m., is not. So I grabbed the phone to stop its ringing, lest Hick jump out of bed and run around to my side to get the phone, thinking it was his alarm service for work.

"Hello. This is Jennifer. I'm calling with a survey for the Pew Research Center. Do you have time to answer a few questions?"

"NO! IT IS 9:08 P.M.! DON'T EVER CALL HERE AGAIN!"

Then I hung up. How I wish for the old Bell System desktop dial phones, with the cradle for the receiver. Slamming the phone down used to be SO satisfying. As it were, I jabbed the OFF button of my Panasonic aggressively.

Yeah. I really wanted to let fly with a blood-curdling scream. It's not like Hick would have heard it from the bedroom above my office, with his breather blowing and his head under the quilt. But he WOULD have heard the phone. He has jumped up to answer it before. Just like he has ignored my pleas for help. Or maybe he was playin' possum when it came to my requests.

There oughta be a law about those survey calls. Same as telemarketers.

14 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Forewarned is forearmed, you know.

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  2. I wouldn't appreciate being called at that hour either.

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    Replies
    1. I hope fishducky is reading this.

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  3. Have you tried the, "Oh, could you hold on a minute?" and then leave them on the phone for a while before they give up?

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    1. Not lately. That would be the kinder, gentler Val. An old teaching colleague used to say, "Wait, somebody is ringing my doorbell." Then he'd lay the phone down and go open the door and ring his own doorbell. Come to think of it, a lot of people came to his house while he was on the phone with ME!

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  4. Oh how I loved that satisfying phone slam.

    Sometimes I tell them, "Yes, can you just hold on for a second, the baby is fussing." Then I put the phone down and ignore it until I hear the satisfying dial tone.

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    Replies
    1. Well, I can go you one better. "My baby is screaming with the colic."

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  5. I received that call, and the sweet sounding older lady said." This will only take a minute." I said, I don't have a minute. Do you know what it's like to have a tired baby and you're trying to get him to sleep and the phone rings and then he's fully awake..." She replied, "Completely. Goodbye."

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    Replies
    1. I didn't get the sweet older lady. I got the self-important millennial.

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  6. I am always so careful NOT to give out my cell number, but they have started calling on that phone. When they call on the land line, I pretend that I am an automated voice and tell them how to make a reservation.

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    Replies
    1. "Why don't you just TELL me the movie you want to see..."

      You and Kramer.

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  7. I've been catching up, but now it's after 9, so I hope it's okay to post :-) I never call anyone before 9AM or after 9PM and I feel all should do the same. I liked Linda's line... I'm never that quick on my feet... err tongue.

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    Replies
    1. We just need Linda to screen our calls for us.

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